Wow, he’s not waiting around to make some big sweeping changes. First, though, he’s keeping Dean as chair. Obviously not a big change, but he is bringing in one of his top people to handle the ground game and fundraising.
Democratic National Committee spokesperson Stacie Paxton confirms to us that Obama strategist Paul Tewes will be joining the DNC, a sign that Obama is rapidly moving to re-shape the party apparatus in his own image.
Tewes — who is in the DNC building right now and whose hiring was expected — is being brought in to help manage the transition as the DNC swings into action on behalf of Obama’s general election candidacy, and to help oversee fundraising and other political matters.
We can’t take this to mean that Obama necessarily approves of Dean’s leadership at the DNC, so we’ll have to wait until after the campaign to really see what shakes out, especially if Obama wins. Because if he doesn’t, Dean is out. But if Barack prevails, will he retain Dean because of Howie’s 50 state strategy which everybody poo-poo’d?
By keeping Dean as party chairman, Obama ended up taking sides in a long-running dispute between Washington-based Democratic Party leaders and state party officials. Although Obama campaign officials have expressed concern in the past that the party did not have enough money, Obama shares Dean’s goal of building the party from the ground up, even in states where Republicans dominate.
Another indication that Obama’s change message is already taking action…the DNC will no longer take money for PACs or lobbyists. This is BIG news and signals pretty succinctly the end of the Clinton’s influence at the DNC.
More as it develops…